Fantastic Fantasy for November Nights!

I don’t know about you, but as the nights get colder and the days get drearier, I start to feel a bit more like grabbing the nearest dragon and taking flight into some bookish fantasy worlds… which is why today I’ve got some excellent escapism for us all, with a fun fantasy list:

(NB Yes, you can always just reread Harry Potter, but you don’t need me to tell you that, do you? 😉)

wizard heir

Wizard Heir– of course, if you need something with one foot still in this world, then I cannot recommend the Heir series enough! There is a book that takes place before this, but I tend to pick this one as my favourite because *my goodness* this book hit me in the *feels*. On the subject of faves…

mort nice edition

Discworld DEATH series– where would I be without this series? I started my Pratchett journey with the Death books and I couldn’t have fallen more deeply in love with the humour, quirkiness and sheer wit of this series. If you’re searching for funny fantasy, with a darker twist, then look no further!

Neverwhere

Neverwhere– I feel like Gaiman and Pratchett always go together in my mind. If you don’t feel like travelling as far as the Discworld, however, this reimagining of London is the *perfect* book for this time of year: dark, unique and layered.

a darker shade of magic

A Darker Shade of Magic– speaking of a fresh take on London, Schwab’s *magical* series will certainly win over fantasy fans (that is, if you haven’t already read it 😉)

raven boys

Raven Boys– more or less still in the real world, this atmospheric series plays with fantasy in innovative ways and will win you over with its complex characters (also ahhh so glad Rowan is getting more books!)

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– let’s take a trip somewhere a little different. And my goodness, this book is different! If you like luxuriously written and gloriously imaginative stories, then this gothic blend of fantasy and fairy tales will sweep you off your feet.

hollyblack-thedarkestpartoftheforest

Darkest Part of the Forest– are you hyped up for Queen of Nothing coming out soon? Well, why wait! You can always check out some of Black’s other *fantastic* fairy stories. This one even gets a shoutout in Folk of the Air!

through the woods

Through the Woods– this sort-of fairy tale retelling has a spectacularly spooky feel and really works if you’re still looking for some Halloween vibes!

Blackwing2

Blackwing– if you’re craving even more darkness, then why not try this vivid and distinctive grimdark series? It’s the kind of book that takes you far from the family and lingers with you long after you finish.

king of scars

King of Scars– to be fair, I could’ve picked any one of the books in Bardugo’s grishaverse. I chose this partly because I read it recently, but mostly because really evokes a darker Russian setting that suits the approaching wintry mood. I feel like it really embraces the coming darkness- which reminds me of…

sabriel

Sabriel– by far one of my favourite fantasy series, this classic necromancy tale is the book that showed me how deliciously dark fantasy can get.

And that’s all for now! Which fantasy lands do you like to escape to at this time of the year? Let me know in the comments!

Books With The (Somewhat) Dreaded Book Travelling Syndrome

Book Travelling Syndrome Definition: the art of getting so lost in your own story that plot, character and everything else is forgotten in favour of random adventures

Yes, I made the term up, and no, it’s not taking off. I feel like the response to this post could be very Mean Girls…

it's not going to happen.gif

Whatever- it’s totally a thing. And I know it’s a thing, cos it’s something I’ve struggled with as a writer. So I’ve decided to compile a list breaking it down, into the good, the bad, and, well you get the idea- enjoy:

The Good

Hobbit_cover

The Hobbit– Yup, even my beloved Hobbit has it, that’s why I got it into my head that this was a good idea in the first place (as I explained here). I won’t say I have no regrets about this cos it’s not always a great storytelling strategy. At least, most of the time, as we’ll come to see…

NeverendingStory1997Edition

Neverending Story– again, this book tricked me your honour, cos sure it has “neverending” in the title, which would imply boredom, but this is *far* from boring. In fact, it’s one of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read. I owe it so much as a story- but also *shakes fist* curse you for filling my head with so many bad structuring mechanisms.

The Bad

Eragon_book_cover

Eragon– really not the worst book on this list- but it does meander about a lot pointlessly.

phantastes

Phantastes– it’s alright, but it has plenty of pointless meandering about and is quite forgettable.

And the Ugly…

The_Eye_of_the_World_UK

Eye of the World– I’m sorry to disappoint fans of this book, but oh-my-gawd I was so bored with this! I think this was like a sledgehammer over the head that book travelling *doesn’t always work*- so I guess some thanks is in order, in a way.

The_Wise_Man's_Fear_UK_cover

Wise Man’s Fear– one of the most disappointing sequels I have ever read. And one of the worst things about it was all the unnecessary different places (inevitably where Kvothe would pick up another skill, then be on his merry, ambling way).

Hope you enjoyed that very random post- my cold-smothered brain thought was a good idea… What books do you think suffer from book travelling syndrome? Let me know in the comments!

The disingenuous fantasy blurb

Alrighty then- it’s Sunday! The end of another week! And last week we learnt two things… 1) I like fantasy (okay we already knew that) and 2) I can be a bit lousy about keeping up with my blog (okay we knew that too, so really we learnt nothing). This post was consequently inspired by this simple equation:

Fantasy + Lousiness = Lousy fantasy

So without further ado here is my disingenuous fantasy blurb:

Read this book- I swear there will be dragons in it. The title is vaguely dragon related after all (what did we name this in the end? Fire-flaming-dragon-wings or something…?)

smaug

Also magic- expect magic- and lots of it. (Although this will mostly be in the form of staring mysteriously into fires and errr no one having actual powers… but still…)

Plus we put TOLKIEN on the blurb just now… so now you have to read it to be considered a proper fantasy fan

Nah nah nah nah nah.png

We’ve also made this a juicy *thousand pages*- 99% of which will consist of infodumps- so yay!!

And have I mentioned that there will be DRAGONS!!

mushu

*Warning: will not contain actual dragons, just lizard people*

*Also, second disclaimer: don’t read if lots of walking gives you brain blisters*

Okay, hope you enjoyed that! Now I’m gonna try and do some blog hopping… wish me luck!

ttfn2.png

My Top Ten Fantasy Books

I’m very excited about today’s post! A couple of days ago, I mentioned how Red Sister had the power of reminding me about why I had fallen in love with fantasy. And as I was doing the post, I realised I have never done a post about my favourite fantasy books.

Ever since being obsessed with Peter Pan as a child, I have always loved escaping to other worlds in books. And since these are *my* personal favourites, this post is about to get super nostalgic up in here 😉

Hobbit_cover
1. The Hobbit– although I will give an honorary mention to LOTR, this one was always my favourite of Tolkein’s work. More than that, it was my gateway drug for fantasy and the main reason why I love dragons #TeamSmaug

northern lights
2. His Dark Materials– this is another one I remember from childhood and it’s stayed with me over the years as one of the best series I have ever read.

sabriel
3. The Abhorsen Trilogy– ahh I cannot say how much I loved this book- I was obsessed with it in my teens and used to take it out the library over and over to reread it back to back. To my mind it’s the *perfect* dark fantasy and the best story about necromancy I have ever read.

the novice

4. Black Magicians Trilogy– so this is a funny one to include, because I didn’t initially like this series. I felt letdown by the first book and only continued because the last part picked up enough to have me intrigued about where it was going. I was so glad I con tinued though, because by the end of this series I had fallen in love with the characters and became so invested in the series that I was *wrecked* when it was all over. So yeah, definitely top ten material.

demon king

5. Seven Realms Series– I can’t actually think of another series with characters I’ve loved more. This series is nothing totally original, but man, does it get you with the *feels*.

daughter of smoke and bone

6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy– this is one of the very rare series I’ve rated 5* across the board- and for good reason! Call me a sucker for a good romance, this series had love interests I was actually routing for the whole way through. Add an incredibly clever storyline and utterly unique world-building and, *bobs your uncle*, you get one of the best series I’ve ever read.

carry on

7. Carry On– I absolutely adored this book. I wrote a post titled “ten reasons to read Carry On”- but to be honest, I could probably think of ten more! Not least because it is such a fun book that for a change doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love how it subtly pokes fun at the genre, whilst also delivering some the most emotional and interesting storylines to date! And speaking of funny books…

anansi boys

8. Anansi Boys– oh man do I love this book!! Yeah, I’m a Gaiman fan- and proud of it! This one is easily my favourite (though I won’t say no to anything he’s written to be honest)

mort nice edition

9. Discworld Series– come on- did anyone not see this coming? And for the record, my favourite to date is Mort.

NeverendingStory1997Edition

10. Neverending Story– this is the most recently read book on this list, but it *easily* made it onto this favourites list. One of the best books I read last year, it is self-aware, smart and very imaginative. Plus, it’s a book about books- and you know how much I adore those!

So I like to think there will be others to add to my list of fantasy favourites one day- and I can already think of some candidates from series I’ve not finished yet… but for now…

that's all folks

(actually can’t believe that I’ve never used that joke before)

How about you? What are your favourite fantasy books? Let me know in the comments!